Fabulous Fiber Fair

First, the official business stuff. Even one day shows are exhausting and it takes us several days to get back into a regular work rhythm. Ed worked about six hours today before his leg and back demanded rest. It took all morning for me to put away all the stuff in the booth box and various bits of equipment and reorganize the office.

I’ll try to inventory and take pictures of the spindles tomorrow. While most Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to attend to as much office work as possible, often not much gets accomplished on my end. We babysit our 11 month old granddaughter who is quick as lightning and needs to be minded every moment she’s awake. Looking ahead at the week it seems prudent say that it will be Friday before I can realistically get the spindles on the website. (I have a detrimental habit of thinking things will be done much faster than in reality I can do them; am striving to get a better handle on estimating time frames for tasks.)


We had fun on Saturday at the first Fabulous Fiber Fair which was held in Carlton, just over an hour+ from our place.

With the debut of Ed’s Great Wheel we were concerned that there would be times when it’d be difficult to adequately take care of customers and demonstrate Great Wheel. 

Enter Allison. Allison works at the place he buys most of the wood we use for spindles.Her enthusiasm and keen sense of woodworking soon had us chatting and growing a friendship that’s been fun for both Ed & I.  With her knowledge and appreciation for wood, plus experience with handling sales she’s a perfect fit for helping in our booth. We hope she’ll be available to help us with future shows.

Lines had formed before the doors opened at 9am with happy throngs of fiber lovers. The adrenaline of a happy crowd of fiber people is exciting and energizing. We were all set up and ready to sell spindles.


(click on pictures to enlarge)

We set out only a good showing of our spindles, not all of them. This helps us keep an eye on them plus we’ve found that too many choices overwhelm people and they end up not being able to decide which one wants to go home with them. We put out a good representation of the spindles in stock so there’s always a good selection no matter if it’s the beginning of the show or the end. This way stock that comes home often hasn’t even been on display.

It’s fun to be surrounded with colorful, beautiful fibers! To the west side was Dicentra fibers and I sorely regret that I didn’t take the time to buy several of her silk hankie packs. Or any silk, which I need for some of our buyers who can’t spin with wool and other animal fibers. Next show I need to make a list of supplies I need before I get dazed by all the fiber fumes.


Check out this knitted work in progress by Ilisha Helfman (aka The Jazzknitter).

Completely spun on Jenkins spindles Ilisha knits the singles using the energy of the strand to dictate orientation on the piece. If you click on the picture you’ll see the blue rabbit bottom center. Ilisha has brilliant approachs to spinning and knitting.


The highlight of the day was when Brother Albert stopped by to see the Great Wheel. This is the man who gave Ed the pattern which is based on the Appalachia Great Wheel. Br. Albert made Great Wheels for a number of years but had to eventually give up making them. He continues to stay busy at the nearby Trappist Monastery in the book bindery. He has been at the Monastery since 1962! Ed had spent the better part of an afternoon with him last summer when Br Albert consented to passing the torch to Ed.


Carrie, left, is the woman who put us in contact with Br. Albert. We met her last Spring when she was demonstrating spinning on her Br. Albert Wheel at the Crafts Showcase in Portland. Ed told her of his desire to make a Great Wheel and the rest is now reality. 🙂

Carrie was very helpful to me in overcoming a couple of spinning hurdles I’d been dealing with in learning to dance with the wheel. Several other women who have Great Wheels also stopped by with their wisdom and advice. Ed and I both learned good stuff and are eager to put the new found knowledge to work. One lady, Kay, who owns and uses four Great Wheels was generous in her historical knowledge of Great Wheels.


Meanwhile, Ed’s love of spindle making hasn’t diminished. He’s planning to begin making more spindles tomorrow. (Today was devoted to making some crochet hooks.) He especially loves creating new and unique designs on the Aegeans.

Here he is with our granddaughter who is thoroughly entranced with his spindles, watching me spin and is determined to help me weave.